Student Conversations: Meet Nick Cianci
- By John M Turner
Nick Cianci is a University of Vermont (UVM) School of Business student from Chester, New Jersey, and as someone with not 1, but 2 brothers, who are also UVM alum, he’s keen to make his mark. He’s interested in a career in sales, likes to play the drums, recently added guitar and piano to his repertoire, and raised over $1,200 for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
He’s also part of an elite student group who earned their way into attending a Beta Gamma Sigma leadership forum. Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International.
Attendees at the forum undergo a rigorous selection process. Only the top 10% of business school juniors are eligible, and every student under consideration has to write a committee reviewed paper. Nick won a scholarship and was the only UVM student chosen to attend. He sat down with us recently to share his experiences at UVM and the leadership forum.
Where was the leadership forum, and how many other students joined you there?
NC: the forum took place in Tampa, Florida and covered 4 days. There were approximately 90 students at the forum with about 60 schools represented. I was the sole attendee from UVM.
What sort of activities did you participate in?
NC: The whole schedule was built around challenging students and digging down into what makes us tick. We engaged in several group activities that taught leadership and interpersonal skills. Everyone took a Myers Briggs test, and motivational speakers exposed us to ideas and other potential career paths we perhaps hadn’t considered.
The leadership building and other group activities created an interesting dynamic for me as it allowed everyone to lead a group, however, then we all had to step back and follow someone else again. I think many of us learned about how to work in a team environment, and also that working in teams will get you much further than individually.
Did you have any epiphanies about your career as a result?
NC: No major epiphanies, however attending the forum was a very positive and enjoyable experience. I met some great people and most importantly, it solidified my career plans and made me consider some other tools and ways to get there. I learned how to deal with a lot of different types of people and cope with their personalities. This is an important lesson for anyone in business to realize, the art of working together as a team, as a unit. I found out you can almost never be as effective trying to do everything on your own, you have to learn how to delegate to a team you trust.
What advice would you give incoming UVM freshman?
NC: Strive to be the best you can and get in the top 10% of students, go out and work on a community project, but whatever you do you have to differentiate yourself. I like to be challenged, to be learning a lot, so don't just go through the motions. If you do your best, won't have any regrets.
Also be very outgoing to classmates, alumni, and ask a lot of questions, because now is the time to ask. I started networking around the end of my sophomore year, and in hindsight I should've done it earlier. There are many alumni involved with the business school and who are connected to one another, and it is important to put yourself out there and start to build a relationship with them as soon as you can. The worse thing that can happen if you reach out for advice or help, is they don't contact you back, but you haven't lost anything. It’s a great way to learn about being persistent and don't give up.
Someone once said “good things come to those who wait,” and while I like that quote, I’ve always felt this quote from Abraham Lincoln pretty much sums up my attitude “things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
That's where I draw my inspiration from.